Background: No study evaluates serum levels of CXCL10 and CCL2 chemokines in patients with hepatitis C associated mixed cryoglobulinaemia.
Aims: To measure circulating CXCL10 and CCL2 in cryoglobulinaemic patients.
Patients and methods: Serum CXCL10 and CCL2 were assayed in 70 consecutive cryoglobulinaemic patients, and in 2 control groups (1:1, gender- and age-matched) of healthy (controls), or of chronic hepatitis C subjects without cryoglobulinaemia.
Results: Cryoglobulinaemic patients showed higher CXCL10 serum levels than controls (p<0.0001), or hepatitis C patients (p=0.001) (389 +/- 141, 91 +/- 51, 311 +/- 142 pg/ml, respectively). By defining a "high CXCL10" as a value at least 2 S.D. above the mean value of the control group (>193 pg/ml), 79% of cryoglobulinaemic patients, 5% of the controls and 69% of hepatitis C patients had high CXCL10 (p<0.0001). CXCL10 levels were (p<0.01) increased in cryoglobulinaemic patients with active vasculitis, with respect to those without (445+/-108, 339 +/- 161 pg/ml, respectively). Cryoglobulinaemic patients showed significantly higher CCL2 serum level than controls (p<0.01), but not than hepatitis C patients (541 +/- 493, 387 +/- 173 and 451 +/- 281 pg/ml, respectively).
Conclusion: Our study first demonstrates high serum levels of CXCL10 and CCL2 chemokines in cryoglobulinaemic patients. Circulating CXCL10 is higher overall in cryoglobulinaemic patients with active vasculitis, suggesting a prevalence of the Th1 immune response in this phase.